Cat Pain Detector assesses portrait photo. Available now.

This is available right now online using a laptop. I’ve just used it. I used a photo of a Bengal cat that I had on file. He is not my cat. This cat looks healthy and not in pain. In fact, he is a rescue cat who’s been at a shelter for 12 months because no one wanted him, which I find shocking. I uploaded the photo and asked the software if the cat was in pain or not. Below is the result using the Cat Pain Detector (CPD) careology- Japan software.

Pain assessment software for cats check a Bengal cat.
Pain app ‘readout’ online. Image: screenshot from CPD careology – Japan.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’d heard about an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone to assess if your cat is in pain. As far as I know it is not yet available as an app as the creators are refining it. But when it becomes available, you’ll photograph your cat and the app assesses the cat’s face from the photo and checks the features against a large database of images of cats in pain and those that aren’t. It is driven by an AI computer.

The assessment above was made using the same software as I understand it. It is 90% accurate.

It is well-known that a cat’s face changes when in pain. It becomes tighter and ‘pinched’. A cat in pain actually looks different. Here is an example of what I mean:

Cat facial expressions: pain and discomfort
Cat facial expression of acute discomfort. Photo: PoC.
Cat facial expressions: pain and discomfort
Cat facial expressions: pain and discomfort

It is no surprise to me that an artificial intelligence computer can tell whether a cat is in pain or not and therefore if they are ill. It is not always apparent. It is strange in a way because there are still a lot of people who think cats’ faces are expressionless. They are certainly more deadpan than the faces of humans but expressions are there.

I used the image of the cat in pain above to test the software again. Here is the result:

Cat in pain and correctly assessed by the software CPD careology.
Cat in pain and correctly assessed by the software. Image: CPD careology Japan.

The result is correct as expected.

Development of CPD by Careology

I think the CPD (Cat Pain Detector) is being used quite a lot in Japan where it was created It has around 45k users.

Careology teamed up with Nihon University’s College of Bioresource Sciences to gather together 6k photos of cats’ faces. They studied the ears, noses, whiskers and eyelids. I’d say they also measured the face generally because it does change shape in a subtle way.

The creators used a scoring system designed by the University of Montreal to check for small differences between cats not in pain and those that were.

An AI computer improved the assessment by using 60k photos uploaded by users.

I think the current online assessment that I’ve just used twice is the source of the user photos referred to.

The software will help cat owners better assess when their cat needs to see a vet. Link to the assessment page.

At present cats are not taken to a vet often enough for various reasons (less than for dogs), one of which is cost and the other is being unable to assess the need as cats are stoic and hide pain instinctively for survival as they programmed to behave like their wildcat ancestor.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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